Anxiety comes in two forms. When you are coping with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is known as common anxiety. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t actually attached to any one worry or event. They feel anxious regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background all through the day. This second kind is usually the type of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Both types of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be especially damaging if you experience extended or chronic anxiety. When it’s anxious, your body releases a myriad of chemicals that heighten your alert status. For short periods, when you genuinely require them, these chemicals are a good thing but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer time periods. Certain physical symptoms will start to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and lasts for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Paranoia about approaching crisis
- A thumping heart or difficulty breathing commonly associated with panic attacks
- Physical weakness
- Bodily pain
- Feeling agitated or irritated
- Loss of interest and depression
But in some cases, anxiety manifests in surprising ways. Anxiety can even effect vague body functions like your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been connected with:
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can occasionally cause dizziness, which is a condition that could also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you realize that there is evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to progress over time. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by numerous other factors). For some, this may even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are certain ways that anxiety impacts your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have all kinds of negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, the ears. And your how well to hear. With that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we take a little time to talk about how anxiety and hearing loss can feed one another in some relatively disconcerting ways.
First of all, there’s the solitude. When a person has tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance problems, they tend to distance themselves from social contact. You might have experienced this with your own relatives. Maybe your mother or father got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not comprehending and so they withdrew from conversations. The same is true for balance problems. It could affect your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to friends and family.
Social isolation is also linked to anxiety and depression for other reasons. When you don’t feel yourself, you won’t want to be around other people. Unfortunately, this can be something of a circle where one feeds the other. The negative impact of isolation can happen quickly and will trigger various other issues and can even result in cognitive decline. For somebody who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that shift toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Figuring Out How to Effectively Treat Your Hearing Loss Issues
Finding the proper treatment is significant especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, obtaining correct treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Interacting with other people has been shown to help alleviate both depression and anxiety. At the very least, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. In order to figure out what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids could be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy may be required. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe consequences for your physical health in addition to your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can bring about isolation and cognitive decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, you can have a very challenging situation. Fortunately, a positive difference can be accomplished by getting the right treatment for both conditions. The health affects of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t need to last. The key is getting treatment as soon as you can.